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Way Down Yonder (The Prequel)

Finally.

A weekend we can actually get away. And where better to get away? You guessed it ... New Orleans!

This morning we packed our bags, jumped in the car (well not exactly jumped ... more like dragged our butts) and headed to the airport. No stand by flights for us. We had actual tickets on Southwest. It's the only airline with direct flights to New Orleans. We can, of course, pick our own seats (lovely visual huh?) We had numbers A43 and A44 because Debbie got Early Bird Check-in for only $16,000 which allowed us to be in the A line without calling at 2AM ... I guess.

You know, even though I am always excited about going home, I must admit I always start out in a rotten mood before every flight. I can't stand Security. I'm usually the guy getting pulled out of line and patted down. This time I really did everything I was supposed to. I even put my dangerous deodorant and toothpaste in a quart size baggie.

But alas ... I knew it was too good to be true.

I heard TSA agent #1 say,"Step this way sir and talk to ... him." ("Him" was TSA agent #2 who had a gleam in his eye when I exited the naked scan booth).

"Anything in your back pocket sir?" He asked.

"Nothing," I said (I wanted to say "just my ass" but held back.)

"Sir, I'm going to have to pat you down. OKAY?"

Sure ... fine. He grabbed each cheek and checked the rest of my body until he was satisfied and then wiped my hands with a cloth. He told me to wait there while he checked it (for traces of explosive deodorant bottles no doubt). I was clean.

Fortunately, we had plenty of time to spare after security clearance (hah) ... 15 minutes to be exact. So I made a beeline to our terminal and Debbie made a beeline to Starbuck's. Let me just say that this is a routine that makes me nuts. Debbie ... who I love dearly ... will be late to her own funeral. I knew as I stood dutifully in my assigned A43 spot that A44 would be late ... and sure enough ... as we boarded the plane and I saw the people behind me pushed aside by my wife proudly holding her coffee and her 236 pound suitcase.

A cute little lady from Turkey was sitting next to Debbie looking out the window with tears streaming down her cheek. We were both touched by this. Debbie struck up a conversation and found out that she was travelling alone to her son's wedding in New Orleans and was a little scared.

I thought at first that she was sad that the stewardess made her put her tiny handbag under the seat in front of her during takeoff (a common safety measure to protect her and others from being hit by the 2 pound bag in case we crashed and imploded).

Debbie worried about her all day. I guess I shouldn't have asked her to get the 236 pound bag down for me when we left.

Oh well. It gave her something to do and focused her on more important things.

Landed in NEW ORLEANS, finally. Unfortunately it's raining and we will have to stay in Harrah's all night ... gambling (I guess). Shucks.

Tune in tomorrow.   

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